By Katie Watson

Katie bio pic

Goals, goals, goals! Are you tired of hearing about goals? Turns out, by this time every year 80% of people are tired of their goals and have given up on working towards them.  As a personal trainer, it’s my job to help people reach their goals, even when they are tired of them.

The brain believes what you tell it or show it, even if it’s a lie.

Goals are much more than being consistent with external habits.  The brain is the most powerful tool in becoming what you want to become! The brain believes what you tell it or show it, even if it’s a lie. Learning how to use your brain to get you where you want to go is key to any goal you set, whether it’s fitness, education, or anything else. 

I love sports psychology! It is so cool! Elite athletes and coaches go to conferences and seminars about sports psychology techniques. Professional sport teams hire sport psychologists to meet with their team members to help them in their individual performance. Having a new way of thinking of your performance has shown to be very beneficial in achieving a desired outcome.

I thought, if these techniques work for athletes, why not use them for the everyday individual to help them keep that momentum they started with at the first of the year?

In this article I want to talk about….you guessed it, sports psychology, specifically visualization.

What Is Visualization?

Visualization is a technique that is used in sport psychology, hypnobirthing, yoga, meditation, and can be used as a coping technique for calming anxiety. It is very simple to do yet it’s effect is very powerful. 

All you have to do is visualize, or imagine, what it is you want. For example, a mom preparing for the birth of her child, may practice visualizing what birth may feel like. What discomforts she will go through and how she is going to manage that. What people and sounds will be around her. She may even imagine what she is doing, how she is breathing, what she is going to do during labor contractions, and of course that special moment when she gets to hold her new baby in her arms for the first time. When the real deal happens she already knows what she’s going to do. The guesswork has already been done through visualization, as though she’s already done this. 

visualization

How to Apply It 

How can you use this for those fitness goals? Well, visualize the habits you want to create for yourself. Imagine what it will feel like to wake up early, even if that’s not something you particularly enjoy. Imagine that, although you don’t want to wake up early, you do it anyway because you are dedicated to giving yourself the time to work on your goals. 

Visualize going through your morning routine, preparing for your workout. Then visualize your workout. How hard it is, but you are stronger, mentally and physically as you push yourself to work hard. Visualize your muscles contracting to move the weight. Visualize your feet pushing into the floor as you contract your muscles during a squat to push yourself back up to standing.  Imagine how you are going to push through those days of un-motivation. 

Imagine what foods you will make to provide yourself with the energy needed not just for your workout but for daily living. And how happy the food makes you feel, that you are taking care of your body. Imagine preparing snacks or meals in advance to make your day easier and helping you avoid drive-throughs while running kids to activities. 

visualization

Why Visualization works

Your habits will become easier because essentially, you are practicing them in your mind and your brain is believing it as reality. When the situation arises with the choice to wake up or hit snooze, you are more likely to get up and get going, because you’ve already practiced this. You have already visualized and practiced making the choices that will bring you close and closer to success! 

Taking the guesswork out of the equation is a huge help in keeping you moving forward with your goals. Trick your brain into thinking you’ve already done this before and you can do it again and again!  

Try this technique of visualization and see what happens! Let your inner athlete shine! You got this! Keep going!  Believe in yourself!

For more tips and motivation follow me on Instagram @upliftedbykatie.

THE EFFECTS OF VISUALIZATION & GUIDED IMAGERY IN SPORTS PERFORMANCE by Tracy C. Ekeocha, BS A thesis submitted to the G

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